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  • 3M 2080, conditions too cold?

    Posted by Martyn Heath on March 19, 2024 at 2:50 pm

    i have used 3M 2080 a few times now, moved from Avery swf purely because price is getting silly.

    I did this van back in January and as i fitted it, i had to go over the vinyl twice to get the bubbles out, they just seemed to appear from nowhere.

    Now im guessing i know the answer to this, temperature but the conditions were as good as i could get them.
    Room temperature was 15-17c, the van had been in a few hours and I gave the panels a pre-blast with the heat gun.

    Is 2080 more sensitive to temperature than some other vinyls? or is the issue elsewhere?

    The vinyl was black matte

    Martyn Heath replied 2 weeks, 2 days ago 4 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • David Hammond

    March 19, 2024 at 2:58 pm

    I can’t see any bubbles in the pictures, where are you getting them, and is it when you’re applying heat following the initial squeegee?

    • Martyn Heath

      March 19, 2024 at 3:25 pm

      They appeared when i went over it again. for example the side panel, fit the vinyl, see a few bubbles, hit with squeegee and create more bubbles, basically laying it twice. So a bonding issue.

      No bubbles were visible after the second hit. Also a local van which i have inspected since and no problems

      • David Hammond

        March 19, 2024 at 4:18 pm

        I’m not familiar with 3M, but my understanding was it was similar to Avery, in that the adhesive doesn’t bond until pressure is applied, and then the beads sink, allowing the adhesive to bond to the vehicle. Not sure why you’re getting bubbles appearing if it’s been gone over already.

  • Robert Lambie

    March 20, 2024 at 2:28 am

    It is a characteristic of the adhesive system used by 3M.
    The glass beads levitate the adhesive from making full contact until pressure is applied with the squeegee.
    Once form pressure is made, the layer of adhesive comes into contact with the metal surface of the vehicle. There is also a grid of micro-channels within the adhesive which then allows you to chase out any remaining air.

    However, if the metal surface of the vehicle is cool or cold. the adhesive is stiffer and not as receptive to the beads. This is what I call “floating vinyl”
    This can also be an issue because viewed at a certain angle or light, it looks like tiny bits of grit, but is in fact an impression of the beads showing on the surface. to remove it, just apply some heat and squeegee pressure.

    Another problem that can occur from this is if you are using a squeegee with too thick of a felt strip on your squeegee. This is why 3M only use the Blue felt squeegee strip, which is sold by Monkey Strips, which I buy directly from their website.

    Also, 3M uses wrapping wheels.
    I always use wrapping wheels, but not for the reason 3M use it.
    These wheels, are to be used in the recessed areas of a van panel. the wheel creates pressure to ensure the beads and air channels are collapsed in the recessed area. otherwise, you will have a cavity with trapped air, that will blister and burst when you are post-heating.

    • Martyn Heath

      March 20, 2024 at 5:33 am

      Thanks rob, makes a lot of sense. I’m putting it down to temperature which caused the problem which means ideally your looking at 17c+ for this 3m film. Like i said a blast of heat did sort the problem and the graphics are fine but going over everything twice is a pain. I too use the blue monkey strips but have yet to purchase a wheel.

  • Hugh Potter

    March 27, 2024 at 2:16 pm

    Just a quick tip Martyn,

    if you can, warm the van from the inside, banging a heat gun over it does little as the heat dissipates so quickly. If the van is empty I’ll put an electric heater or oil radiator in the back for a few hours prior to application, warming from the inside gets much better heat evenly throughout the vehicle surface. If the van is ply lines allow a bit longer.

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